Ron George runs for governor

By Len Lazarick

Delegate Ron George

Delegate Ron George

Republican Del. Ron George, an Annapolis jeweler, launched his campaign for governor Wednesday in a small room with a big crowd that enthusiastically embraced his message of lower taxes and smaller, more efficient government.

“It must be so frustrating for the Democrats that we just don’t give up,” said George.

He was the second Republican this week to announce a race for governor, and is little known outside Anne Arundel County, where most of the 200 people who attended the event at the Annapolis Sheraton live. But Anne Arundel is the most Republican of Maryland’s large counties, with twice as many registered Republicans as Harford County, home of David Craig, the county executive who announced his run for governor Monday.

Private sector experience

George emphasized his long experience in the private sector, which includes two retail jewelry stores and an Internet sales operation. “He’s the first candidate in a long time that’s from business,” said Jim Pelura, the former state GOP chairman who is supporting George.

Sen. Ed Reilly, an Anne Arundel County insurance broker, said George knows firsthand about all the taxes, fees and regulations saddled on small business owners by the Democratic legislature. But Reilly said he was backing George because of his stand on social issues.

There is “no greater supporter of right-to-life issues” in the House of Delegates, Reilly said. He also noted that Ron and his wife Becky George had home-schooled their six children.

But while others emphasized George’s support for such issues as requiring legal residence for immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, the delegate himself laid out a 10-point program that stressed lower business taxes, eliminating government waste and fraud, more effective public education and school choice through private school “scholarships,” more commonly called vouchers.

Promises repeal of gas tax hike, rain tax

He also promised to repeal the gas tax hike passed this year and the “rain tax” on stormwater runoff that both go into effect July 1, one of the evening’s big applause lines.

He also proposed tax credits for purchasing goods in Maryland.

“I know how to compete with Virginia. Give me that opportunity. Let me at it,” George said.

“When I’m governor, Maryland will no longer continue to raise taxes, increase spending and not care that businesses and investors are leaving,” George said. He said he would concentrate on building the tax base in Baltimore City, helping to reduce some of the state aid the city receives from other counties.

The Legislative Policy Committee will hold a hearing today on the prison scandal that led to the indictment of 13 correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center. George said that he had bills in for prison reform in 2008 and 2009 that would have made them “true rehabilitation facilities.”

George was twice elected to the House in the three-member District 30, which includes Annapolis. House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, another Anne Arundel Republican, noted that in 2010 George got more votes that House Speaker Michael Busch, who represents the same district.

In the newly drawn legislative districts, George would no longer represent Annapolis, and was placed in District 33, dominated by Severna Park.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. bill skelley

    I think it to be a sad state of affairs when the minimum wage debate includes “Now what do I do with these people, do I have to increase their pay?” Ron George is obviously an advocate for business owners, as he is one himself. He does not represent the majority of educated voters in Maryland. He clearly has enveloped a 47% attitude, in the likes of Mitt Romney.

    As in his statement above, he admits that when he is Governor, Maryland will not…”no longer care that business’ are leaving. ” This is a clear cut admission of what side of the fence he stands on. Being a business owner himself, Ron George “knows firsthand about all the taxes, fees and regulations saddled on small business owners.” It is that interest which he refuses to support any hike in minimum wage.

    In other words, a vote by Ron George is a vote for Ron George. All things being equal…A vote for Ron George is a vote for Ron George. Simple algebra.

  2. Jonya

    I took a whole entire day to find out where the contributions from the Bay tax were going too and I took another day to find out where the rain tax contributions were going too. I called every environmental department in Maryland and no one could answer me if they received any monies from these taxes. I asked and MES ( Maryland Environmental services) and other environmental departments in Maryland, if they were just going to plant cattails or work on water estuaries in the future and no one could answer me!

  3. krs1251

    This is a guy I’ll stand on the streets and wave signs for!

  4. abby_adams

    Glad to see more candidates running that don’t have a D attached to their name. As a native MD resident I’m tired of the stranglehold the liberal/progressive Dems have on Annapolis. After enduring 40+ tax, fee & toll hikes, working families need someone LEADING us who has life experiences working in the REAL world, not just another career politician craving higher office at any cost.

  5. karolh

    I do not know Ron George, but he sounds great, we certainly need an honest governor that would control the spending, eliminate excessive taxes and the government waste and fraud. A more effective public education and school system, a truly rehabilitating prison system and help MD businesses compete with the surrounding states, would bring businesses back into MD and help more Marylanders become prosperous again. There is a lot in MD that needs to be revisited, with adjustments made to make us the Free State again. It would be nice to eliminate the nick name of “The First Communist State in America”. It sounds like Ron George, Ed Reilly and Dan Bongino would be a Power Working Trio for MD.

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